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Sudden infant death syndrome
Co-Sleeping Major Factor in SIDS Deaths
The term sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) was introduced in 1969 in England as a
recognised category of natural death that carried no implication of blame for bereaved
parents.  It is known that sleeping on the tummy rather than on the back was far more
likely to lead to an otherwise unexplained deaths. Soft objects such as pillows, along with
mothers who smoke, were also associated with a higher number of deaths.
Peter Fleming of St Michael's Hospital in Bristol, Britain, investigated the causes for 80
cases of sudden infant death syndrome from 2003 through 2006. Dr. Fleming found 54%
of sudden infant deaths occurred while the babies shared a bed or sofa with a parent,
while the adult "co-sleeping" with the infant had recently consumed alcohol or drugs.
Sleeping on the same bed or couch as a parent was associated with a 21.77-fold
increased risk of SIDS. 
The study found the safest place for an infant to sleep in its first six months was in a cot
beside the parental bed. 
 Co-sleeping is key culprit in sudden infant deaths: study AFP October 13, 2009 
Todd Neale Co-Sleeping Major Factor in SIDS Deaths MedPage Today, October 13,
2009.  Sam Lister, Parents who share a sofa with baby may double cot death risk, The
Times, October 13, 2009.  Jeremy Laurance, Cot death linked to shared beds,
independent.co.uk,14 October 2009